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Creating a Disaster Plan for Your Family

February 1, 2012

No matter how much we plan or how many precautions we take, sometimes accidents and disasters are beyond our control.  Fires, flooding, and natural disasters like tornadoes can occur unexpectedly, which is why it’s important to have a plan in place to prepare ourselves for what we should do in the event something like that takes place.

It is important for every household to have an emergency plan, so that regardless of what type of disaster may strike, everyone knows what to do to keep out of harm’s way.  A little preparation up front can make the difference between being a victim of or surviving an unexpected situation.

If you do not yet have an emergency plan or would like to create one, consider these tips on how you can create a good disaster plan for your family…

  • Prepare an emergency kit.  Since you never know when a disaster might strike, it is wise to prepare yourself with an emergency kit. Make sure to include several gallons of water, canned food, and a complete first aid kit.  If possible, also include some cash and a mobile phone in case you need to call for help.
  • Identify at least two ways to escape from your house. In case of fire, your escape routes will be crucial to everyone getting out safely.  Have an escape route mapped out for all floors, including one at the back and one at the front. That way, regardless of which area of the house someone is in, they will know how to escape easily and quickly.
  • Establish a safe location for your family to meet once everyone has escaped.  In the event of a disaster, this will help you determine if everyone is safe or if someone is missing and you need to call for help.
  • Assign an independent family member to dependent members, such as small children, the elderly, and the disabled.  This will ensure that everyone has the means to escape.
  • List all emergency phone numbers near your phone, so it will be easier to find them if you need to call for help.
  • Teach your children to dial 911 and tell them to do so if there are fires, flooding, or possible house burglars inside the house.
  • Teach independent household members basic first aid techniques.
  • Practice makes perfect, so if possible, practice your escape routes or other emergency techniques occasionally to be sure everyone understands.
  • Most importantly, make sure that everyone in your family knows every detail of your plan, including where to find the emergency kit, what to do in case of disasters, and where the different escape routes are located.

Chris George
Oklahoma City Realtor

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